Lymphotoxin beta, a novel member of the TNF family that forms a heteromeric complex with lymphotoxin on the cell surface

Cell. 1993 Mar 26;72(6):847-56. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(93)90574-a.


The lymphokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has a well-defined role as an inducer of inflammatory responses; however, the function of the structurally related molecule lymphotoxin (LT alpha) is unknown. LT alpha is present on the surface of activated T, B, and LAK cells as a complex with a 33 kd glycoprotein, and cloning of the cDNA encoding the associated protein, called lymphotoxin beta (LT beta), revealed it to be a type II membrane protein with significant homology to TNF, LT alpha, and the ligand for the CD40 receptor. The gene for LT beta was found next to the TNF-LT locus in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), a region of the MHC with possible linkage to autoimmune disease. These observations raise the possibility that a surface LT alpha-LT beta complex may have a specific role in immune regulation distinct from the functions ascribed to TNF.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 6
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes
  • Humans
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / chemistry*
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / genetics
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / metabolism*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Conformation
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • Lymphotoxin-alpha
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L09219
  • GENBANK/L09220
  • GENBANK/L09221
  • GENBANK/L09222
  • GENBANK/L09223
  • GENBANK/L09224
  • GENBANK/L09225
  • GENBANK/L11015
  • GENBANK/L11016
  • GENBANK/L33709